We head back to hotel, where the bright, sunny weather has attracted a fairly impressive crowd at the pool. The black-tiled pool takes some getting used to, as it looks like an oil tanker ran aground and spilled its contents. The science behind it is actually brilliant, as the dark tiles drawn in the heat of the sun and keeps the water warm. Although you'd never know it from the people screaming as they jump in.
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I've decided to wear my sunglasses to the pool so that I can A) look like a sunbathing Hollywood movie star, B) avoid eye contact with the people I don't much care for, and C) discreetly stare at those I'd like to
I sneer as we walk into the pool area because Rick and Ron (fake names) are there. I cannot stand these two. Rick has a habit of staring at you, and Ron is the most pretentious little asshole I've ever met.
Congratulations on your dress-making business. I'm sure it's gratifying to know you've "made it." However, chainsmoking cigars is not only bad for you, but it makes us want to drown you in the fucking pool.
So that's what the dark pool is for - hiding bodies.
Another benefit to staying at this hotel surfaces: free burgers and hot dogs by the pool. At the Motel in the Woods, the only freebie was watered down coffee - as long as you conviently ignored the "Donation Box."
My sunglasses allow me to pretend to be watching people come and go, when I'm really stalking the chef to see when the burgers are done.
Larry and I get up and head for the line. Since I'm on vacation, I think nothing of grabbing a burger and a hot dog, as well as the cucumber salad. Had they been serving a third option, I would likely balance a second plate on my head.
As we eat our burgers, we see a man riding a motorized cooler around the poolside.
"You want to ride that, don't you?" asks Charlie.
"No, no, no...," I say, worrying that Charlie will ask the person riding it and I will be embarrassed into doing so.
And then there will be two bodies in the pool.
After a second burger, I debate a third, but say nothing to Larry, who will add Body #3 to the pool.
Rumor has it that tea dance will begin at 4 - another test of the Nevermore's "newness." 4:00 comes and goes without fanfare, but I notice that the DJ has a severe bent for Madonna, interspersing songs from Confessions on a Dancefloor and Hard Candy.
Sated from the burgers, we head back to the room, where Larry takes a nap. I stay up and wonder how much they'd charge us if I activated the Nintendo system.
There are still quite a few people lingering at the pool after dark, but now the focus is the small bar that was probably was a towel shack during the last iteration of this resort.
We bump into a few familiar faces, and meet a few new people. Keith somehow knows Larry from the past, but his bald head only confuses Larry. Joe looks like Elvis on steroids. Just imagine that if you will.
The topic of dinner is discussed, and then Vapid Vinnie shows up. Vinnie would be the first person I'd drown in the pool if I had a choice. Luckily, Vinnie and his new "friend" decide against dinner, but linger around long enough to change their minds.
Fuck. Vinnie is known for never having any money, so the thought of having to pay extra because of this flake makes me want to, well, you know...body...pool...etc.
It takes three cars to transport our group of eight to Wildflower for dinner, where we are seated at a couple of tables not far from the river. Even though it is a breezy summer night, the owner offers up some hot cider. "Who the hell could possibly be cold enough to order hot apple cider during summer?" I think to myself.
The conversation gets juicy quickly, as Vinnie's new "friend" lives in the area and gives us all the dirt on the Nevermore and the Raven. It turns out that they are deliberately letting the Raven die so that the Nevermore has no competition - even though they own both.
Juicy. Tell us more, I say telepathically to Whatshisface.
The host returns to see how things are.
"How is everything so far?"
"It's cold. Can we move inside?" asks Vinnie.
Motherfucker. Just die already, Vinnie. Larry argues that the flow of the conversation will be ruined if we go inside - and he's right. As we lift our glasses to be seated indoors, we are told not to move the tables, as they are either bolted to the ground or weigh 375 pounds each.
So our group of eight turns into separate, slightly awkward tables of four. Everyone is silently hating Vinnie now.
When the check arrives, Keith puts a $100 bill on the folder and passes it to our table, so we can add the difference. Then Vinnie is rightly humiliated when it is turned to him - and not only is he confused by numbers, but he has no money.
We all head back to the resort, and agree to meet at the bar.
Great. If ever I needed a drink, I think to myself. A night of drink and music will fix things, right?
To be continued...